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LilavatiLalbhai Library by RMA Architects


印度艾哈迈达巴德(Ahmedabad)的环境规划和技术中心(CEPT)成立于20世纪60年代,它就在曾于那里学习过的几代建筑师的心中占据了特别的位置,由现已90岁的印度著名建筑师、CEPT第一任负责人巴克里希纳•多西(Balkrishna Doshi)设计,同时他也是2018年普利兹克建筑奖得主。

他的大部分建造于20世纪70年代的建筑群得到了勒•柯布西耶(Le Corbusier)和路易斯•康(Louis Kahn)的高度重视,这两位建筑大师在印度西部城市留下了诸多优秀建筑作品。CEPT的校友和RMA建筑事务所的创始人Rahul Mehrotra 认为建筑群外露的砖块和混凝土表现出了坚实严谨的结构逻辑。


The Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), in Ahmedabad holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the generations of architects who have studied there since the school’s beginnings in the early 1960s. Designed by famed Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi, now age 90, who served as the CEPT’s first director, the collection of mostly 1970s buildings are highly indebted to Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn—who both left their mark on the western Indian city. The complex is exposed brick and concrete and has an expressed solidity and rigorous structural logic, according to Rahul Mehrotra, a CEPT alum and founder of RMA Architects. His Mumbai- and Boston-based firm was invited to build CEPT’s new LilavatiLalbhai Library, which opened this past October.


校园里的第一栋建筑物并不是由Doshi 设计,这受到了外界的质疑 。因为Mehrotra主要以在本国的建筑作品而闻名,甚至他还在巴基斯坦完成了一所房子,并在巴塞尔为诺华(Novartis)完成了一座实验室和办公楼。



Designing the first structure on campus not by Doshi was “intimidating, to say the least,” says Mehrotra, known primarily for his work in his native country, though he has also completed a house in Pakistan and a lab and office building in Basel for Novartis. Mehrotra confesses that the CEPT commission made him “a bit anxious about getting it as right as possible.” Accordingly, his library scheme pays homage to the Indian Modern master, as well as Ahmedabad’s rich midcentury heritage. But, at the same time, it reinvents the older architectural ideas. Mehrotra made the library no higher than CEPT’s existing buildings—all three stories tall—but in order to fit the required 30,000-square-foot program on the constrained site, he submerged half of the building. A central book core, surrounded by study carrels, with archives at the base, extends almost 40 feet down into the ground, a strategy that provides a geothermal advantage in the hot climate. The three stories above grade house exhibition spaces and reading rooms. To accommodate this arrangement, the RMA team created something that resembles a building within a building: an inner one with a steel structure and a skin of drywall and glass, and an outer one defined by manually operated shutters, atop a sculptural concrete base.


百叶窗的功能与位于仅几英里距离之外的勒•柯布西耶工厂业主协会大楼的Bills soleil功能相同。但新图书馆的立面与20世纪50年代的结构完全不同,所用材料也与周围校园建筑物相差甚远。不只是静态的混凝土或砖石元素,Mehrotra的图书馆有精致的胶合板板条,可以调整和移动,以减轻太阳的辐射,同时可以让微风吹入。这样它就像是一座旅行神殿般的建筑物,在这座神殿中,各层门被逐一打开,每一个空间都在不断的叙述中揭示不同的情节。

The shutters serve the same function as the brisesoleil on Le Corbusier’s Mill Owners’ Association Building located just a few miles away. But the new library’s outer shell is of a completely different character than that of the 1950s structure, as well as a departure from the material palette of the surrounding campus buildings. Instead of static concrete elements, or the solidity of brick, Mehrotra’s library has delicate plywood slats that can be adjusted and shifted to mitigate the sun or let the breezes in. The result is a building much like a kaavad—a traveling shrine, in which layers of doors are opened, each revealing a different episode in a continuous narrative.



There are plans for the school to use this double skin as a learning tool, studying the details, monitoring its operations, and measuring light levels and temperatures in different seasons and throughout the course of the day. No special documentation process is needed, however, to demonstrate the effectiveness of the finned facades, along with skylights on the roof, which bring daylight deep into the library, reaching almost to its lowest level. The sun, of course, readily illuminates the more transparent abovegrade floors, where the building seems to fly into the trees and students can study amid the leaves and the birds.



Some spaces are literally open to the campus, such as an upper-level terrace that occupies the interstitial zone between the outer and inner shells. It offers a sheltered spot for relaxed meetings and socializing. The informality flows out of the building too, with people using its exterior areas in a similarly low-key way—lounging on the deep, shaded sills of the base, chatting with each other, and eating lunch. It is clear that the students have taken to the library, making it their own. And in this way, the youthful building establishes a new centrifugal core for its storied campus.


由Kaiwan Mehta报道。Mehta是DOMUS India的孟买建筑理论家、教育家、研究员和执行编辑。

With reporting by Kaiwan Mehta. Mehta is a Mumbai-based architecture theorist, educator, researcher, and managing editor of DOMUS India.






建筑设计:RMA Architects — Rahul Mehrotra:创始人; Robert Stephens, Payal Patel, principals; Prashant Saudagar:合作者
校园建筑设计:Aakruti Architects — Dilip Patel:负责人
工程设计:N.K. Shah Architects & Structural Consultants (structural); ARKK Consulting (m/e/p)
总承包商:PSP Projects
客户:CEPT University
悬架网格设计:Hunter Douglas
电梯供应商:Infinity Elevators

Architect: RMA Architects — Rahul Mehrotra, founder and principal; Robert Stephens, Payal Patel, principals; Prashant Saudagar, production associate
Campus Architect: Aakruti Architects — Dilip Patel, principal
Engineers: N.K. Shah Architects & Structural Consultants (structural); ARKK Consulting (m/e/p)
General contractor: PSP Projects
Client: CEPT University
Closers: Dorma
Glazing: Saint-Gobain
Suspension Grid: Hunter Douglas
Paints and Stains: Oikos
Elevators: Infinity Elevators




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